Archive for Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ex-Vietnam lieutenant apologizes for massacre

August 22, 2009

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— Speaking in a soft, sometimes labored voice, the only U.S. Army officer convicted in the 1968 slayings of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group near the military base where he was court-martialed.

“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” William L. Calley told members of a local Kiwanis Club, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported Friday. “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”

Calley, 66, was a young Army lieutenant when a court-martial at nearby Fort Benning convicted him of murder in 1971 for killing 22 civilians during the infamous massacre of 500 men, women and children in Vietnam.

Frustrated U.S. troops came to My Lai on a “search and destroy” mission, looking for elusive Vietcong guerrillas. Although there were no reports of enemy fire, the U.S. troops began mowing down villagers and setting fire to their homes.

Comments

beatrice 5 years, 10 months ago

What this article fails to mention in its abreviated form is that Calley was acting on direct orders. His superior, Capt. Ernest Medina, was defended by the great attorney F. Lee Bailey and was acquitted. Calley obeyed an illegal order and should be held accountable, but a lot more people than Calley should have been convicted of war crimes in this instance as well. It is much like only holding Lindy England accountable for Abu Ghraib. When our government commits war crimes, the real criminals are never held accountable.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 10 months ago

apologizes... massacre...

hmm...

apologizes... massacre...

( ... can't quite balance that evasion.... )

beatrice 5 years, 10 months ago

porch, O.J. was acquitted too.

Calley was acting on direct orders, not just his own initiative. Those who ordered the actions were not held accountable, which goes to show that nothing really changes, now does it?

WoolyBully 5 years, 10 months ago

Those of you who did not serve in Vietnam are merely opinionated spectators. Sometimes you are capable of rational thought, but most of the time I wish you'd just keep your mouths shut and stop your pontificating. Some of us still live with it.

By the way, we were winning when I left.

Wooly Bully

denak 5 years, 10 months ago

Beatrice,

I have to disagree with you. I agree that Medina should have been held accountable. True.

However, Lt. Calley was an officer. He wasn't some inexperienced, green private. He could have, and should have, refused the order but he didn't. He bares full responsibility for his actions. He doesn't get a pass because the other officers were corrupt or were later acquitted.

Twenty-two people died because of him To liken him to Lindy England is more telling than you think. Not because they both were scapegoats for the actions of higher up (they weren't) but because both of them are guilty of moral and military cowardice.

Dena

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